The University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) has been awarded a $14.9 million contract from the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT)  to conduct a safety pilot model deployment of vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) safety applications.

The 30-month program will establish a test site in Ann Arbor, Mich., for enabling wireless communications among vehicles and roadside equipment for use in generating data to enable safety applications. Passenger cars, commercial trucks and transit buses will be included that are equipped with a mix of integrated, retrofit and aftermarket V2V and V2I-based safety systems. These are technologies that could prevent thousands of crashes.

"This is a tremendous opportunity, and we are very excited to be able to support the USDOT’s demonstration of cutting-edge transportation technologies in our community," said Program Manager Jim Sayer, an associate research scientist at UMTRI.

The data generated and archived as part of the model deployment will be used for estimating safety benefits in support of future policy decisions by the DOT, as well as for use by the broader transportation industry in developing additional safety, mobility and environmental applications using wireless technologies. The testing phase will last 12 months and include approximately 2,850 vehicles.

“We feel honored to be hosting the national test environment for vehicles that don’t crash,” said Peter Sweatman, UMTRI director. “We look forward to helping many private and public sector organizations advance connected vehicle technologies which save lives and promote efficient movement of cars, trucks and transit buses.”

Partners supporting UMTRI on the program include the Michigan Department of Transportation, the city of Ann Arbor, Parsons Brinkerhoff, Mixon Hill, HNTB, SAIC, Texas Transportation Institute, AAA of Michigan and ESCRYPT. The Office of the Vice President of Research at the University of Michigan and the Michigan Economic Development Corp. are offering additional support.